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Streams o’ the Week

by Elizabeth Mackay October 30, 2012

1. MA Remix – Ariane Moffatt (2012; Audiogram)

Not as easy task, but Montreal’s Miss Moffatt has managed to seduce Quebec’s French and English audiences and bridge the gap with 2012’s MA. Moffat told CBC that she wants “to master the essence of each kind of groove” and that she feels “more creative when making stylistic clashes.” In the spirit of chasing something different, the singer-songwriter is set to release MA Remix on Nov. 6. If MA showed Moffat dipping her toes in electronica, with MA Remix she’s completely submersed. The album’s six tracks are straight-up dancehall thanks to a collaboration with Montreal DJ Poirer, who she chose to lead production. MA tracks were reworked by several DJs so much so that MA Remix stands as an entirely different record on its own. Moffatts voice is slowly stretched out over jumbled, intoxicating and seductive electronica — “Hotel Amour” and “In Your Body” are transformed from pop into slow, sexual dance. This album will likely make heavy rotation in Montreal clubs after Moffatt officially launches the material on Nov. 5 at her 5925 Park Avenue show.

 

2. “Breakers” – Local Natives – Hummingbird (2013; French Kiss)

Remember Gorilla Manor? Hard to believe it has been almost four years since Local natives released their debut album. Last week, straight out of the blue, the Cali afro-pop rock band released Breakers, the first single off their anticipated 2013 sophomore record. With reference to their new material, Local Natives told Pitchfork that it “feels like our band, but we’re not doing the same thing again.” If “Breakers” serves as an indicator of what direction the band is moving in, they are rounding out their young, catchy pop tunes in favor of a louder, darker and venue-absorbing sound. The track begins with their signature, light toe tapping drum beat, then ascends into something new for them – loud, victorious vocal harmony. This change from innocent pop to emotional rock sounds like maturity, but the lyrics instead reveal a state of limbo, in between adolescence and adulthood. “Stare down my nose, watching/the color change from my eyes/Cold cereal and TV/Before I go to sleep.”

3. “Splitter” – Calexico – NPR’s Favorite Sessions

In the latest installation of their ‘Favorite Sessions’ series, NPR published a clip of Calexico performing their new single, “Splitter”, at Minnesota’s 89.3 The Current studios. Electronica is seeping into almost every strain of music – even Taylor Swift is dabbling in dubstep – so it is surprisingly refreshing to see a band perform raw acoustics. Vocalist Joey Burns leads two additional guitarists and a pianist in what NPR called ‘a beautiful breakup song.’ Burns’ husky, southern soothing voice comforts the listener with “One hand on the hammer, one foot by the door/Pushed by the wind, fed by the need for moving on/Moving on to nowhere”. If the lack of actual instruments in popular music leaves you lost, reassure yourself with Calexico’s live “Splitter” footage.

 

 

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